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links to all things poetic and narrative

Poetics Serendipity

7:40 a.m. — San Antonio

listening to Robbie Williams singing Me and My Shadow (Yes, that Robbie Williams — he has an entire album of Frank Sinatra, and similar singers’, songs. Brilliant.)

Hello. I am returned from New Orleans beigneted and Bloody Mary-ed enough to keep me going for a few months. Lordy, the food is good in that city. Perhaps more on that with Tuesday’s prompt. On to today’s business. Nanos, coming down the home stretch!

1] NaNoWriMo-ers, I have a link that keeps on giving. Poets, you will enjoy reading just as much. Back in 2012, The Atlantic published an article titled 6 Writing Tips from John Steinbeck (a master of narrative structure, among other things), written by Maria Popova. How could I resist a statement like: The legendary author explains why you should abandon all hope of finishing your novel?

Within the piece are several links to other useful articles, such as David Ogilvy’s 10 No-bullshit Tips and Henry Miller’s 11 Commandments, You’ll be able to lose yourself, happily.

2] This next is in pdf format and will need to be enlarged, unless your eyes work better than mine. The Poetry School is London-based, but has courses around England and online. Everything I have seen from them is first-rate. The link takes you to their 2016 schedule.

3] While we are at The Poetry School, read an interview with their digital poet in residence. The interviewer is Will Barrett and the poet, Clare Shaw. Read what she has to say about a poet’s voice. It’s a fascinating description.

Right. I’m off to my second cup of coffee. I will see you Tuesday for a prompt and Thursday for more links.

Happy writing, everyone.

 
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Posted by on 19/11/2015 in links, poetry, writing

 

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Poetics Serendipity

8:33 a.m. — San Antonio

listening to Istanbul sung by They Might Be Giants (who have a fascinating repertoire)

Hello, there. Everyone good? Nanos, still breathing? Let’s see what we have today.

1] The first place we will visit is short but fun. Kath over at For Reading Addicts gives us How to Write Fiction: Tips From Ernest Hemingway. In her introduction Kath says: Unlike other authors, Hemingway never wrote a book on writing, but he did give good writing advice and some of this is immortalised in correspondence and articles he wrote during his life.

2] TED Talks, anyone? Yeh, I knew you’d like that. I chose a playlist that focuses on narrative: 10 talks by authors. The talks range from ‘The Politics of Fiction’ to ‘What Fear Can Teach Us’.

3] Narrative structure being the framework that holds and unfolds the story, I push it every year. While looking around this year, I found an excellent article on Wikipedia (had to be written by an author, or teacher): Plot (narrative).

4] While all the above might be of interest to the poets,here’s one just for you: The Seven Types of Poetry, by Robert Peake. We haven’t had a piece by Robert in a while, and his is an interesting viewpoint.

Okay. I mentioned I will not be around Tuesday. I will be in New Orleans. Depending on the time of day, I will be sipping coffee, or a Bloody Mary, and eating beignets, or oysters. I will see you again next Thursday for more links.

Happy writing, all.

 
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Posted by on 12/11/2015 in links, poetry, writing

 

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Poetics Serendipity

8:11 a.m. — San Antonio

listening to Train, Train sung by Blackfoot

Hello, all. We finally have autumn-like weather. At least we do until the afternoon when it’s still climbing into the eighties. We’re getting there. In a couple of days, NaNoWriMo starts. For new people, during November I’ll post some links more directed to the writing of prose, and the Tuesday prompts are for prose writers but easily adaptable to poetry.

1] First up, Robert Lee Brewer. There was a momentary panic amongst participants, last week, when Robert had not posted regarding his November Poem a Day Chapbook Challenge, but it’s official: Robert is providing his usual forum. Head over to read the guidelines.

2] The second find sounds interesting. Novlr describes itself as built by writers for writers, a place to safely hold your words, workable on any computer. They offer a free trial period for the whole of November. It sounds worth trying. You’ll know if you must have it or not.

3] The next is from The Writer’s Circle. They have many good things; you’ll be seeing a lot of them this month. This first offering is to remind you to relax and laugh at yourself this month: Writing a First Draft: The 8 Stages Writers Go Through. (Ignore the stuff around the poster)

4] Grammarly kindly asked whether I wanted to share Which Literary Monster Are You?  Well, of course, I do. It’s Halloween weekend coming up. Have some fun. I found the questions asked, interesting, although I’m not sure about the conclusion. When you arrive on the page, hit the Let’s Play button. (Yes, it would be better if I embedded the link — let’s not go there)

5] A last second addition. Tawnya Smith asked me to post a call for The Mayo Review. The deadline is this weekend, but you just might have something that fits.

I will see you Tuesday for a prompt; and Thursday for links.

Happy writing, everyone.

 
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Posted by on 29/10/2015 in links, poetry, writing

 

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Poetics Serendipity

9:09 a.m. — San Antonio

listening to I Love a Rainy Night sung by Eddie Rabbitt (one of my all time favourite songs)

Hello, everyone. I hope you are well. I am sitting under grey skies, hoping it will rain. While I wait, here are a few things to investigate.

1] How about you find out how well you know the style of a few well-known poets? I enjoyed the short quiz as much for the illustrations as seeing whether I knew my poets’ styles. You’ll find Match the Poetry Quote to the Poet! on the site For Reading Addicts.

2] Now that you are warmed up, let’s head to a visual feast that can keep you distracted for hours. The site Bored Panda has an article on New Zealand artist Brian Dettmer’s work. If you haven’t seen his book sculptures, you’re in for a treat. I’ ve seen one or two, but not a collection like this. The article, ‘Book Surgeon’ Uses Surgical Tools to Make Incredible Book Sculptures is dangerous. Don’t look if you have an appointment you need to get to.

3] Trish Hopkinson had an article out, recently, on tanka submission calls and sites. The calls are for this month, which is close to ending, so I visited a site she suggested, All Things Tanka. If you write in this form, it’s a wonderful site; if you don’t, you might consider giving it a try, because this site is well-crafted and useful. I have sent you to the About Tanka page, but you’ll see it’s easy to navigate to their other pages.

4] Finally, something that made me laugh and which involves bacon. The image is courtesy of Grammarly, but I found it on The Writer’s Circle.

I will see you Tuesday for an image prompt and next Thursday for NaNoWriMo links. It’s that time again.

Happy writing, all

 
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Posted by on 22/10/2015 in links, poetry, writing

 

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Poetics Serendipity

8:12 a.m. — San Antonio

listening to Spirit in the Sky sung by Norman Greenbaum (one hit wonder)

Hail. I thought I’d try a different salutation. Fall continues to fall on most of the northern hemisphere. Some places are even rushing into winter. Me, here? Oh no. Let me dive into links before I become maudlin, again.

1] My grammar nerdly self was excited enough by the semi-colon, but this week I have the exclamation point. This punctuation mark I forbade use of, by my students, unless an actual exclamation was involved: Oh! Damn! Nuts! Look out! Aha! You get the point. If what you are writing is exclamatory, the words should tell the reader. If you have to use an exclamation point as emphasis, you haven’t chosen the right words, or the thing isn’t due a mark, at all. Check out How To Use An Exclamation Point Properly (& How Not To Use It) written by Julia McCoy, for Grammarly.

2] It’s time to check in with Poets & Writers with their Tools for Writers, where they occasionally update opportunities for submissions and jobs in the literary world. Scroll down and look to the right column when you get to the page.

3] Let’s round off with a cartoon from The Writer’s Circle’s Facebook page.

Nice and light, this week. I shall see you Tuesday for a prompt, possibly borrowed. We haven’t done one of those in a while. I’ll go  riffle through my books. And, I shall see you next Thursday for links and such.

Happy national poetry day and happy writing.

 
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Posted by on 08/10/2015 in links, poetry, writing

 

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Poetics Serendipity

7:32 a.m. — San Antonio

listening to Wild World sung by Cat Stevens

Hello, all, and a happy halfway through the week. I notice that most everyone has cooler weather, except the south south-western US. Feel free to share. While I’m waiting, here are some links to explore:

1] Hot off the presses: Penguin’s Vintage Books arm has signed several authors (Margaret Atwood, Jeanette Winterson, Anne Tyler, Howard Jacobson…) to write novels inspired by several of Shakespeare’s plays. Watch this video to see which plays and hear from the authors about the Hogarth Shakespeare series. The video is a little over four minutes.

2] The semi-colon is the most misunderstood and misused of the punctuation marks (although apostrophes are catching up). It’s also one of my favourites because no other mark implies the same relationship. The Writer’s Circle gives us Finally! An Easy Way To Know When (And How) To Use A Semicolon! at the end of which they have included a TED talk. I found their presentation, in the written part, to be admirably clear and fun to read.

3] Diane Lockward’s October newsletter is out. It’s always worth a read with its poetry, prompt, tips on the craft, and links.

4] This last is for Philly folks, or people who don’t mind driving into Philadelphia. Peter Murphy, of Murphy – Writing Stockton University, is holding a writers’ happy hour and invites anyone in the area to join them for an informal evening of socializing and camaraderie. Draw inspiration and support that comes from being a part of a larger community of writers. The date is October 21st and you’ll find more information on his site. I’ve given you the page with the October events.

Enjoy and I will see you again on Tuesday for our next prompt and Thursday for more links.

Happy writing, everyone.

 
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Posted by on 01/10/2015 in links, poetry, writing

 

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Poetics Serendipity

8:24 a.m. — San Antonio

listening to Phil Collins sing A Groovy Kind of Love

Good day, everyone. You say you have things to do and places to be? Let’s get started.

1] I was havering on whether to give you Robert Peake’s ‘Why Poetry Workshops Matter’. He’s a poet who writes on poetry and I love his style, but this particular article isn’t structured to easily read: no paragraphs. It seemed unlike Peake (I discovered that it’s only when clicking through to the article that the paragraphs disappear). Then, I saw a link at the bottom, The Joy of Revision. Of course, as I love the revision process, I checked. Much better.

The first article is an update of the second. The second is properly paragraphed and has additional subject matter of interest. I would add a caveat. In his suggested questions about form, there should be a why after each. Otherwise it sounds like he’s saying this is the way things should be because we’re questioning them. He’s not. In the questions about content, readers and writers should be asking why and how.

2] It’s that time again: Peter Murphy’s Winter Poetry & Prose Getaway. This one I am determined to make some day (at least, one of the several Murphy offers each year). The dates are in January which gives everyone plenty of time to save their pennies. I love this in the description:The Getaway creates an environment that encourages each writer to take creative risks. Peter begins the weekend by singing in his off-key voice which leads participants to realize that if it’s okay for Peter to risk that kind of embarrassment, they can too. Clearly, a born teacher.

For those who live in the area, don’t forget The Collingsworth Book Festival, held on October 3. Peter will be offering a free workshop from 12:301:15 p.m. in the Festival’s Poetry Tent, with the theme Seeing the Sea Anew.

3] Feeling brave? I havered on this one, as well, but when I found I differed (no, not got it wrong — there are a couple I’d argue, but that’s why I don’t do well on multiple choice tests) on a couple of answers, I decided we all needed to read: 10 Outstanding Grammar Tips for Writers: Take the Quiz. I wasn’t sure about the quiz format, either, but the tips are more effective if you have a choice already made. So, take the quiz, read the whys of the answers. If you find it helpful, follow the links to Daily Writing Tips then Grammarly to find the next groups of 10 tips. Only the first ten have the quiz. If I were to choose one to keep by, it would be Grammarly’s.

A nice, hefty bunch of things to go through. Enjoy them and I shall see you Tuesday for our image prompt and Thursday next for more links.

Happy writing, all

 
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Posted by on 24/09/2015 in links, poetry, writing

 

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